Marty McNeal's Sacramento Bee column opens as an assumed smoke-blowing exercise in which Mike Bibby's camp is promoted, as it has been here. (The roster of player attendees is really good.)
But McNeal and those he quotes destroy all the camp's previous PR success.
"I've told Mike that he has somewhat of a bad name in the community because of people who came to camps before with his name, and then they didn't like the way it was handled," said [Rob] Archie, who will act as the camp director. [...]
So while campers as young as 6 years old will get a chance to hobnob with Bibby, it also will be a learning experience for the 29-year-old. Bibby must put himself into situations dealing with people that will not necessarily be comfortable for him. [...]
God knows I'm all about transparency and being honest with your fans/customers. That's one of the tenants of this whole blog thing -- cutting through the convoluted/monopolistic media junk to find the real stories in sports.
But this attempt to pump up Bibby's camp is just plain terrible. Yes, Bibby has image problems in Sacramento. A lot of people know this. But not everyone. Not the random Folsom dad who was going to send his kid to see Kevin Garnett and Amare Stoudemire for $400. Not the middle-aged mom from Elk Grove with an 8-year-old and a fat bank account. You think anything in this story makes them want to attend?
"Mike's introverted and standoffish, but he's going to try to stay the whole five hours this year, so come on down." Um, what? Not a good sales pitch. From McNeal -- a journalist -- it's acceptable. From Archie, who leads the charity the camp will benefit and who will direct the camp -- full disclosure that Mike's camps have sucked in the past and it's because of a fundamental character trait of Mike does not make anyone any more sympathetic to the cause and does not make anyone more likely to send their kid to said camp.
And to be perfectly honest -- the draw isn't Mike Bibby anyways. It's the other guys showing up. It's KG, it's Amare, it's Baron Davis... it's even, dare I say, the possibility of Kevin Martin or Ron Artest. With the big names Mike has landed, it is Bibby's camp in name and location only. You don't need to say that to the paper, obviously -- but you focus on how great it's going to be instead of how sucky it has been.
</boring rant no one cares about>
(At this point, someone makes a joke about how no one sending their kid to the camp reads Marty McNeal anyways.)